For the U.S. transgender community, 2015 marked a year of progress.
However, it was also a year in which there was an increase in the reported number of transgender women ( most being individuals of color ) who were murdered. Below is a list of the more than 20 trans women whose lives ended untimelyand violently. The list is courtesy of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs ( NCAVP ).
Papi Edwards, a Black transgender woman, was shot to death at the Fern Valley Motel in Louisville, Kentucky on Jan. 9. An alleged suspect, Henry Richard Gleaves, has been arrested and charged with her murder.
Lamia Beard, a Black transgender woman, was found shot to death on Jan. 17 in Norfolk, Virginia.
Ty Underwood, a Black transgender woman, was found shot to death Jan. 26 in Tyler, Texas, after a woman called 911 to say a car had hit a telephone pole and that her children had heard gunshots. Her loved ones are speaking out, saying that they believe this was a hate crime.
Jessie Hernandez, a 17-year-old gender non-conforming Latin@, was killed by police in Denver, Colorado on Jan. 26 under suspicious circumstances.
Yazmin Vash Payne, a Black transgender woman, was discovered fatally stabbed to death Jan. 31 at the scene of a house fire in the Van Nuys district of Los Angeles. Payne's boyfriend, Ezekiel Dear, has been arrested and booked for suspicion of murder in connection with her death.
Taja Gabrielle de Jesus, a Latin@ transgender woman, was discovered stabbed to death on a stairwell in San Francisco's Bayview District Feb. 1.
Penny Proud, a Black transgender woman, was found fatally shot Feb. 10 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Kristina Gomez Reinwald, a Latin@ transgender woman, was found unresponsive in her home in Miami on Feb. 15, and her death is being investigated as a homicide.
Keyshia Blige, a Black transgender woman, was shot and killed while driving with a passenger in Aurora, Illinois, on March 7. Police believe it was not a random attack. Her death also came to light late due to media outlets and law-enforcement agencies misgendering and misnaming of the victims.
London Chanel, a Black transgender woman, was stabbed to death in Philadelphia on May 8. The culprit was her roommate's boyfriend.
Mercedes Williamson, a transgender woman, was found stabbed to dead and buried in a wooded field in George County, Mississippi on May 30. Josh Brandon Vallum, who reportedly told his father about committing the homicide, has been arrested.
India Clarke, a Black transgender woman, was found beaten to death on July 21 in a park area of the University Area Community Center in Tampa, Florida.
K.C. Haggard was stabbed to death in the street by an individual in a car in front of multiple witnesses in Fresno, California, on July 23.
Amber Monroe, a Black transgender woman, who was shot to death in Detroit, Michigan, on Aug. 8
Ms. Shade Schuler, a Black transgender woman, was killed in Dallas, Texas on July 29.
The body of Ashton O'Hara, a Black transgender/gender-nonconforming person, whose body was found July 14 in Detroit, Michigan.
Kandis Capri, a Black transgender woman, was found shot to death in Phoenix, Arizona, on Aug. 11.
Elisha Walker, 20, a Black transgender woman, was found in a shallow grave in August outside Smithfield, North Carolina. She had not been seen by family or friends since October 2014 and her vehicle was found a month later. Detectives have charged Angel Arias with her murder and for larceny.
Tamara Dominguez, a Latin@ transgender woman in Kansas City, Missouri, was run over multiple times in a side street. Her body was found Aug. 15.
Jasmine Collins, a Black transgender woman was killed in Kansas City, Missouri, on June 23. Her death came to light late due to media outlets and law enforcement agencies misgendering and misnaming of the victims.
Kiesha Jenkins, a 22-year-old Black transgender woman, was physically attacked and then shot to death Oct. 6 by a group of 5 or 6 men in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Zella Ziona, a transgender woman of color, was killed in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on Oct. 15. According to local media, much of which has been misgendering and misnaming the victim, Zella Ziona was shot to death, possibly following an altercation, in what police are describing as a non-random attack.
Note: There are two other homicides of transgender or gender non-conforming individuals in 2015 in which a clear motive has not been established or a bias-motive is not apparent: Brian Golec and Maya Hall.